Category Archives: Daily Express
If you were to glance at the front pages of some of the newspapers this morning, you’d be forgiven for feeling at best a slight frisson of fear, at worst convinced the country was doomed to an epidemic worse than Swine ‘Flu, more deadly than MRSA!
E.coli is not about to strike us all down!
Here we’re treated to another series of vivid, raucous headlines full of hyperbole and little or no substance.
The Express, perhaps is the least frightening, but only because its readers have surely become immune to the sensational headlines, behind which lies not a lot of truth?
The Daily Mail, too, is only slightly less guilty than the Express of composing misleading headlines above often much more innocuous pieces.
“Mutant E.coli is in Britain: Seven victims in UK have new contagious strain that’s killed 18”
But the Telegraph? Surely the Telegraph is more accurate and serious in its reporting?
“As seven cases of the food poisoning bacteria were diagnosed in Britain, the agency said that the mutant strain was so virulent that sufferers risked spreading the infection to friends and relations through close contact.”
These three examples are some of the worst displays of sensationalism and scaremongering found on a very quick trawl through the available headlines today.
Nowhere in those frightening headlines do those papers mention that the people with the E. coli infection in Britain were infected on very recent visits to Germany, not here. We are misled; encouraged to believe that the seven people in Britain with the disease contracted it here.
This deliberate inaccuracy is dangerous. As well as encouraging irrational fear in the population, it will possibly badly affect the sales of fresh vegetables grown or imported by already beleaguered food producers and increase the number of time-consuming calls on doctors and health workers for advice.
This dishonesty may sell papers, but what does it do for the readers? Don’t readers and the general public deserve the truth?
|Small selection of Daily Express front-page headlines|
The Daily Express has long campaigned to convince the nation that the whole fabric of Society is in danger from an influx of immigrants bent on securing jobs, housing and benefits from under the noses of indigenous ‘Brits’.
Articles which accompany these startling headlines are often long on scare – mongering hyperbole and short on accuracy.
All three of the main political parties agree that there is indeed a problem which needs to be rectified. The Daily Express, however, is embarked on another course completely. Its tactics are designed to engender hatred, mistrust and resentment.
An article in today’s Daily Express, here, the statistics, taken from the latest ONS study, (ONS podcast), appear at first glance to be accurate if somewhat alarming! Using language which backs up the article writer’s understandable alarm, the spokesman from Migration Watch, the oft quoted Sir Andrew Green opines thus:
“This sharp rise in immigration comes as a shock. These figures show just what an enormous task the coalition Government has inherited as a result of Labour’s mass immigration policy.
‘Matt Cavanagh, of the Institute for Public Policy Research, said:
Perhaps, if successful, the Government could take much of the credit for forcing the Daily Express to come up with a different theme for its front page headlines?
|April 28th 2011|
Just as a bit of light relief from our worries about rampaging migrants who’re about to snatch all of our spare jobs or our over-generous welfare benefits, today the Express offers us a chance to refocus our hatred onto that well-known thorn-in-the-side of every upright citizen – the Benefit Scrounger.
No, don’t groan! They’ve got evidence – really, they have:
Press Release from the Department for Work and Pensions
Macer Hall, the Express’ Political Editor writes:
“BLITZ ON BENEFITS: 887,000 FIDDLERS EXPOSED
And a further 428,000 voluntarily dropped their claims before completing the assessments – making a total of around 887 000.”
“900,000 caught in ‘fit to work’ check
ALMOST 900,000 Brits trying to claim sickness benefit are fit to work, shock figures reveal.
Most articles written after receiving the Press release from the DWP were more balanced and thoughtful.
This morning, disappointingly, the BBC appeared to carry on its website a piece about the DWP’s statistics which backed them up and assumed the presumptions to be valid: Benefit Applicants – ‘75% Fit to Work or Drop Claims’ . No attempt here to check the facts or find another point of view.
Later, I found this on the BBC site and heaved a sigh of relief! : Mark Easton’s UK.
In his Blog for today, The Truth About Sicknote Britain, Mark Easton dismantles systematically the ‘case’ (if that’s not too kind a word to use!) put by the Express:
But it isn’t true.”
|25th March 2011|
You might ask what is so unwarranted about a newspaper delivering a timely warning about the possibility of our benighted welfare system being potentially put under further strain by an influx of foreign migrants from the EU countries? Well, not much if that were all this piece sought to accomplish.
But it is not merely a welcome heads-up. The headline alone suggests that the ‘flood’ of migrants, salivating at the thought of a generous weekly hand-out of £250, is already underway, threatening to swamp our own impoverished citizens. We see a photo purporting to be:
“Perhaps it’s to be expected that MigrationWatch might play a bit fast and loose with the evidence — it is a campaign group, after all. But this seems to be becoming a habit: yesterday it published another report, using an even more flawed methodology, to make very strong claims about immigration and youth unemployment. This was duly picked up by the right-wing media — the Express today repeats this study’s claims under the headline “Migrants rob young Britons of jobs“, and the Telegraph goes for “13 per cent rise in Neets ‘linked to immigration’ “.
well known for his fervent and oft voiced wish to see Great Britain leave the EU altogether :
Who wouldn’t be alarmed at the idea of hundreds of thousands of potential thieves and scroungers scattering around the country uncounted and unaccountable?
There is a valid argument to be had about immigration, especially in these straitened times and discussion is often better informed when enhanced by accurate statistics and good evidence as in this article by Dr Eoin Clarke in his ‘Green Benches’ Blog.
Using a sensationalist headline as does Ms Little’s article today, serves no purpose other than to reignite public fear and indignation . It isn’t yet happening, it may not happen at all.
But if the public can be frightened into believing that it will and that the ensuing disaster was caused by our belonging to the EU, so much the better. After all, as Ms Little candidly admits:
“News of the immigration wave will fuel the Daily Express’s crusade for Britain to quit the EU.”
Once gain we note the blatant misreporting and manipulation of statistics in very similar articles to be found in yesterday’s Daily Mail and Daily Express.
In a previous blogpost, I showed how some of the tabloids use exaggeration and distortion of facts in an attempt to influence public opinion.
Here, below the headline:
75% ON SICK ARE SKIVING
is The Daily Express piece. Its opening paragraph states in bold print:
‘THE welfare mess left by Labour was exposed last night after figures suggested three-quarters of sickness benefit claimants are fit to work.’
The article, quoting from a report carried out by the Department of Work and Pensions, states that out of all of those claiming incapacity benefit of whatever type, 39% were deemed fit for work, another 36% :
‘abandoned their claims as soon as they were told to undergo new work capability assessments introduced to weed out scroungers.
The total figure of 75 per cent was released by the Department for Work and Pensions yesterday following a review of almost half the 2.1 million people on incapacity benefit.’
So from 1.05 million people already tested, we are led to believe 75% are ‘scroungers’. By my calculations, the reality is that following an assessment, only 39% of a total of the 1.05m people could be considered as claiming a benefit they were not entitled to.
Even this assertion would be challenged by many of those who have undergone one of the tests and found them unfairly conducted and dubious in their validity.
But the article in the Daily Express is mild in its condemnation of disability benefit claimants compared to what is to be found in the Mail Online!
400,000 ‘were trying it on’ to get sickness benefits: 94% of incapacity claimants CAN work
400,000 ‘were trying it on’ to get sickness benefits: 94% of incapacity claimants CAN work
This time, we are given a figure of 94% of benefit ‘scroungers’!
Both articles are full of contemptuous language and thoroughly judgemental. Both articles misuse data in an effort to confuse and hoodwink the reader.
To what end? Well, scandals and shocking facts sell newspapers! Words which denigrate the subjects of such articles may incite hatred, or at the very least, dislike. Could it also be that by whipping up a storm of indignant feeling against a certain group in society, support for potentially unpopular policies being put forward by the government of the day might be increased?
As Nick Angel wrote of the Daily Mail in an article in the Guardian on 20th August 2007 :
‘A month spent reading the nation’s leading mid-market newspaper took me into a terrifying, depressing world, filled with suspicion.’
You can find the rest of that piece here : For me, it says it all!
Someone else who speaks with more honesty than could be found in either of the two articles I’ve highlighted today can be seen and heard in this clip posted by ‘peekaypurr‘ “Shame on you Prime Minister. I know you know better.” , @BendyGirl on Twitter.
Update: Factcheck have just posted a link to their site, where they’ve been working on the veracity of the data given by Mail.